Cuba Private, with private guide and Casas Particulares
Travel privately, travel with your loved ones, your partner, family or friends. From hot Havana to the warm Caribbean Sea. From Cienfuegos and Trinidad to Santa Clara of El Che.
Comfort will travel with you, all the way. A private driver/guide and a robust Jeep or SUV will take you along peaceful landscapes and friendly villages to 3 top cities, gems of Cuban authenticity. All 3 with beautiful architectures and historical interest. All 3 topped with the atmosphere that makes Cuba so unique.
Book your stay in Havana as you wish (or let us help you with it). Book an extension in an exotic seaside resort or return to Havana. Connect both layovers with the Cuba Private.
- Eat in private restaurants (paladares).
- Sleep in Casas Particulares, private (family) homestays, cozy and small-scale, friendly and welcoming as the Cubans themselves.
- Hike in the mountains of the Escambray, where time seems to pass slowly.
- Snorkel in the Bay of Pigs, walk, hardcore outdoors among the exuberant flora and fauna of Topes de Collantes.
- Wander through the small streets of Trinidad, along the avenues of Cienfuegos and over Santa Clara’s museum square.
- We admit it, three cities in four days may be a bit ambitious, but they are so beautiful. It is a compact journey, long enough to explore the south and center of Cuba.
We have set out the contours, but nothing has been set in stone.
- Your trip, your way
- Booked and organised in Cuba
- Our local roots, we live in Cuba
- 24/7 support by our local hosts
- Departure time
- Havana - Santa Clara
- English, Spanish
- Activity level
- Easy (light walking)
Day 1: Havana - Bay of Pigs
Enjoy your breakfast at ease. The guide/driver will pick you up at 9.00 am at your address in Havana before hitting Cuba's autopista. A wide highway with little traffic, quietly you breathe in the first impressions of the countryside.
The Bay of Pigs is situated 200 kilometers (124MI) southeast of Havana, a lovely place with a grumpy past. Here, on 17 April 1961, a US-backed secret operation took place.
Halfway between Playa Girón and Playa Larga is the Cueva de los Peces, a popular although sometimes rather busy snorkeling spot. The cave is a so-called cenote.
Punta Perdiz is more quiet. Over a small beach and a pier, you have access to the sea; that wonderful world of fish and corals.
A simple lunch will be served at the local beach restaurant.
Next stop is Playa Larga, the capital of the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park, with its wetlands, mangroves, beaches and birds.
In Playa Larga you will stay in a Casa Particular, at home with a Cuban family. This way you’ll not only get more insight into the country, but also meet the people who live here.
Enjoy your dinner at the Casa. Evening at leisure. Chilling in a rocking chair with a cocktail after a heart-warming day?
Accommodation: Casa Particular (Homestay) in Playa Larga
Day 2: From Cienfuegos to Trinidad
Your hosts will prepare your breakfast in your Casa Particular, before boarding the Jeep (or SUV).
You will pay a birthday visit. While Havana will celebrate this year its 500th birthday, Cienfuegos - an elegant and pleasant city - was founded exactly two centuries ago, in 1819. In a short city tour, the charm of this city (declared UNESCO World Heritage in 2005) will be revealed.
We wish Cienfuegos many years in prosperity and happiness.
A scenic route, partly along the south coast, is the foretaste of your next destination. Trinidad, 505 years old, is according to many the most beautiful and certainly one of the most authentic colonial towns on earth. The cliché wants that time stood still here, which only applies to the decor, certainly not to the liveliness in the winding streets and beautiful center.
In the bar La Canchánchara a cocktail is mixed for you with the same name, a typical regional recipe, sweet, lime flavored with rum and crushed ice.
On the corner of Playa Mayor, a square in stair shape you will find the popular private restaurant Esquerra, where lunch has been reserved. Buen provecho!
Just like yesterday you will stay with a Cuban family in a Casa Particular, your own private bed & breakfast.
We want to give you the opportunity to experience the evening your way, hence we have not reserved dinner. It is up to you where to dine.
What to do in Trinidad at night?
- Private restaurant Sol Ananda, a beautiful building, located at the Plaza Mayor, furnished in colonial style. Extensive menu with Cuban-fusion dishes, options for vegetarians.
- Address: Ruben Martinez Villena (Calle Real) # 45 Esquina Simon Bolivar (Calle Desengaño).
- Private restaurant San José, Cuban and Italian cuisine.
- Address: Maceo (Gutierrez) # 382 entre Colon y Smith.
- Private restaurant La Redacción, a colonial building, once the redaction of a newspaper. Possibility to dine at the patio. International cuisine, vegetarian dishes, specialty seafood.
- Address: Maceo (Gutierrez) # 463 entre Simon Bolivar (Desengaño) y Fco. Javier Zerquera (Rosario).
Note: Popular restaurants do no accept reservations. Dine early, or drink something first at the restaurant’s bar or on the patio, while waiting for a free table.
Music, Drinks and Dancing
- La Escalinata is Trinidad´s nightlife center. Every evening (at about 08.00 – 08.30 pm) a salsa band will play live music at the old stone city steps (near the church). Dance or sit on the stairs or on one of the terraces, and simply watch. A small entrance fee can be levied, depending on the kind of event. Afterwards, follow the stairs which will lead you to the Casa de la Música.
- Casa de la Trova (entrance aprox. CUC 1) hosts salsa bands and troubadours, located at only 100 meters from the city stairs. On your way you will pass the Palenque de los Congos Reales, with mainly Afro-Cuban music.
Accommodation: Casa Particular (Homestay) in Trinidad
Day 3: From Trinidad via Topes de Collantes to Valle de los Igenios
Breakfast in your casa. Trinidad has settled down at the feet of the mountain range Sierra del Escambray (at only 18KM/11.2MI). Here in the mountains, the Guanayara park majestically unfolds. It’s a 7th heaven for hikers and nature lovers, intersected by a stunning river with the melodious name Rio del Melodioso.
After having challenged all this beauty, you walk into the lovely backyard of La Casa de la Gallega, a former farm, today a country restaurant. Long tables are set with treats for lunch. Especially the homemade chicken is recommended by "TasteAdvisor".
After lunch, the Jeep or SUV will bring you to the Valle de los Ingenios (Sugar Mill Valley), together with Trinidad declared UNESCO World Heritage (1988).
Before the sugar trade collapsed in the colonial era, this area featured extensive sugarcane fields and a flourishing sugar industry. The Manaca Iznaga tower from 1750, built as a watch tower to control the slaves, still stands as a sad reminder of times gone by.
Back to tiny Trinidad, the town awaits you, so does your Casa.
Choose your last dining spot (not included in the price). You may still want to stroll over the bumpy alleys, dare a last dance, or just have a drink on a terrace. It is up to you. Trinidad, the city with its timeless face is open to everything.
Day 4: Santa Clara
Breakfast will be served in your casa; your private residence for the last 2 nights.
Too short? Even 1001 nights might be not enough to experience the fairytale of Trinidad.
Your guide/driver, your Cuban tower of strength, is ready to hit the road.
Get onboard. It's about 121KM (75MI) over country roads to Santa Clara. Santa Clara (1685) became inseparable from Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, iconic in Cuba and all over the world.
Have your last lunch on this trip in Santa Clara, before driving to the north or to the west. Choose how to continue your holiday. By returning to Havana? One never gets bored in Cuba’s capital. Or heading for Cayo Santa Maria, a key in the north of Cuba with elegant hotels, white beaches and a deep blue sea. Or to Varadero? The country’s seaside resort of all times, for a sun and swimming cure at the ocean, to laze after this exciting Cuba Private trip.
- Program (and entrance fees) according to description.
- Professional, multilingual driver/guide.
- 3 Nights in single or double room with private bathroom in a homestay.
- Described meals.
- Other consumptions.
- Other transfers and additional stays before and after the tour, as well as flights.
- Optional activities not included in the program (such as visit to the dolphinarium).
- Expenses of personal nature.
- There are two different car types:
- STANDARD: BAIC BJ40 (4x4 Jeep - 2-Door) accommodates three participants and luggage (2 bags [75cmH]).
Recommended for up to three adults of average size as well as for a family with (one) child.
- PREMIUM: Hyundai Tucson (SUV - 4-Door) seating four participants and luggage (2 large [75cmH]) + 1 small bag).
Ideal for a family with (two) children or four participants of average size.
- STANDARD: BAIC BJ40 (4x4 Jeep - 2-Door) accommodates three participants and luggage (2 bags [75cmH]).
- A professional driver, and your guide at the same time, will drive the air-conditioned Jeep/SUV.
- All vehicles are insured.
- Think also of packing swimwear (and towel) for the hike on day 3. as well as sturdy footwear for your grip.
- Triple rooms are not bookable on this tour. In the case of an uneven number of participants, twin and single rooms will be booked.
- Optional you can visit the dolphinarium of Cienfuegos (entrance fee approx. CUC 15pp, closed on Wednesdays, the rest of the week open from 09:30am till 04:00pm [shows are at 10:00am and 02:00 pm]).
- Che Guevara´s memorial and museum in Santa Clara are closed on Mondays.
- The program can be subject to changes due to local conditions (weather, road, unforeseen closures for repairs, etc).
- Casa Particular (homestay) in Playa Larga
- Casa Particular in Trinidad
Customise your trip
You can adapt this travel program to your personal wishes. You can add or remove destinations, you can extend or shorten the trip. Do you want alternative accommodation or route? Add activities or excursions? Do you want any other travel services? We are happy to help you.
The Cuba Private tour is composed in such a way that the tour seamlessly connects with a previous stay in Havana and an extension afterwards in: Cayo Santa Maria (Cayo las Brujas or Cayo Ensenachos) Varadero or, Havana
With your specific wishes and our knowledge, together we create the perfect trip.